#AudiobookReview – Educated by Tara Westover read by Julia Whelan #LibraryLoveChallenge #LoveAudio

51PIFQaSwuL._SX342_From Goodreads: “Tara Westover grew up preparing for the End of Days, watching for the sun to darken, for the moon to drip as if with blood. She spent her summers bottling peaches and her winters rotating emergency supplies, hoping that when the World of Men failed, her family would continue on, unaffected.

She hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate. She had no school records because she’d never set foot in a classroom, and no medical records because her father didn’t believe in doctors or hospitals. According to the state and federal government, she didn’t exist.

As she grew older, her father became more radical, and her brother, more violent. At sixteen Tara decided to educate herself. Her struggle for knowledge would take her far from her Idaho mountains, over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d travelled too far. If there was still a way home.”

My Review

I have so many thoughts and feelings about this book that I don’t know where to start. I was approved for a NetGalley copy of this book a while ago but was quite reluctant to read it after mention of abuse and assault in various reviews. I then discovered that the audiobook was available through my library’s Libby app and so added it to my wishlist, but I was still too afraid to listen. I enjoy memoirs but I have to be in the right frame of mind to listen especially if it’s going to be a harrowing account.

I finally plucked up the courage to listen to this although at times I felt like stopping as I had trouble believing some of what I was hearing! I couldn’t believe that the author was brought up in such a chaotic family situation and where there was no-one, neither family or neighbours to rescue her and her siblings. That they didn’t use soap to wash their hands after using the toilet, something that the author mentions was still happening when she went to college!! The fact that she doesn’t mention any illnesses in the family is incredible to me. I also found it really hard to believe that she got into a university without having any formal education at home. Unsurprisingly though she then struggled to use a particular text book when she was there. Oh yes and the fact that her mother became an unlicensed midwife was terrifying, as was the way Tara and her siblings worked in her father’s scrapyard, mutilating themselves on numerous occasions. I could go on about other family situations but I don’t want to turn this review into a rant.

Clearly the author is incredibly intelligent and was able to study in such a way that she passed her diploma to get onto a summer school at Cambridge University, and then a degree course and finally a masters there too. Then to go on to Harvard is monumental when you think about her background. What an amazing lady!

The abuse from her brother Shawn and subsequent trauma was hard to listen to, making me shout at the audiobook when the author and her family kept making excuses for him.

I can’t say that I enjoyed this memoir as it’s not that type of book, but I’m glad I’ve finally  listened to it, especially with Julia Whelan’s narration. It’s the first book I’ve listened to with her narrating and I can totally understand why she is an award winning narrator. She brought the Tara’s Westover’s memories so vividly to life in her portrayal of the  family. I definitely wouldn’t hesitate to listen to more audiobooks with her narrating.







43 thoughts on “#AudiobookReview – Educated by Tara Westover read by Julia Whelan #LibraryLoveChallenge #LoveAudio

Add yours

  1. I think I’d find it harder to listen to (and really hear a voice speaking those words) than read it. Good on you for plucking up the courage to do that. I’m not surprised it was hard to listen to at times! It’s still on my readlist and I hope I’ll get to it by the end of this year. I think my respect for this author will only grow and grow when reading this one! Great review Nicki!

  2. I listened to this one as well. She is a favorite narrator! I enjoyed it,, more but do understand all your points! Great review ❤

  3. I’m surprised you went for an audiobook – I would have absolutely struggled to get through something this harrowing in audiobook just because hearing it being spoken somehow makes things more realistic. This isn’t on my TBR, just because it does sound like such a traumatic read!

  4. It sounds like this book had an enormous impact on you. And no wonder, considering the themes. I don’t think it’s one for me, but I love your review!

  5. I’ve heard a lot about this one. I actually found it in a charity shop but after flicking through, decided it’s not something I want to read. Great review 🙂

      1. The person who rec it to me raved about it too…..it’s a thought provoking, puzzling in some ways, tragic, and difficult read….and I’m receptive to hearing her story….but I don’t know if I would rave about it. It does show the resiliency potential and reminded me of Glass Castle in that way.

  6. Wow this sounds truly heart breaking to read. I read something similar recently. I feel like I want to read this one. You’ve done such a beautiful review xx

  7. It is absolutely a difficult read and yet it is an amazing story that I hope will inspire others. I am so glad you decided to jump into it and enjoyed her story!

  8. Fab review! At least you found a new favorite narrator… 😉 I struggled with the credibility of Educated as well (and a lot of other stuff, as I think it was one of the longest rants I wrote last year), but if it is at least partly true it’s incredible she made it that far in life.

  9. I definitely don’t think this is a book I want to pick up. Great review but yeah I can see why you were nervous about picking it up. Xo

  10. Wonderful review Jonetta. I don’t think I could have listened to this one, but I did read it and I am also glad I did. It is hard to say I enjoyed a book like this, because it is not the enjoyment most people think of when you say you enjoy a book.

      1. Oops, I should have said wonderful review Nicki. I was reading and responding to so many blogs trying to catch up. 😄

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